What is fraud?
Itís the fastest-growing crime in the U.S., costing its
victims over $475 Million a year, according to the Federal
Trade Commission. Yet, it happens so quietly, most people
donít realize theyíve been victimized until months later.
Identity theft or fraud occurs when someone uses your personal
information without your permission to make illegal purchases,
withdrawals, or open accounts. This can damage your credit
rating and reputation.
What are we doing to prevent fraud?
After September 11, legislation was passed to help prevent
fraud. Evidence shows that credit card, debit card, and
similar fraud are a major source of funding for terrorists. To
safeguard our nation against terrorists and to help prevent
you from becoming a victim of fraud all financial institutions
are required to more carefully verify the identity of our
account owners, loan applicants, trust, and individuals who
purchase investment products.
This means we may ask you additional questions at the time of
your transaction. We may also ask you to provide one or more
types of identification (ID), such as driverís license, U.S.
taxpayer ID number or other government issued document that
verifies your nationality or residence. By answering these
questions and providing the required forms of identification,
you can help us meet the requirements and better protect you
against identity theft.
What happens to the information you provide us?
The new regulations require us to verify the information you
provide us using one or more methods. For instance, we may
compare your information against public databases of
information to verify that it is current and accurate. Any
information we obtain is safeguarded according to our Privacy
Policy and information sharing practices which were provided
to you. That way, you can be confident that your personal
information remains secure as we work toward preventing all
forms of fraud.
What else can you do to prevent fraud?
Keep your credit cards, debit
cards, personal identification numbers (PINs), checks,
social security number, driverís license number, and other
personal information in a safe place.
Keep deposit and withdrawal
slips and credit and debit card receipts where they will be
safe, and always shred them first before theyíre disposed.
Before disposing of credit card
solicitations, credit card statements, financial updates,
shred them first.
Donít put your trash out until
shortly before it will be picked up.
Donít put mail in your curb
side mailbox until shortly before it will be picked up.
Take your mail out of your curb
side mailbox as soon as possible after itís delivered. And,
if youíre traveling, have the U.S. Postal Service hold your
mail or have someone you trust pick it up daily.
Limit the information on your
checks, and donít carry around any more credit or debit
cards than necessary.
Donít give any of your personal
information to anyone in person, over the telephone, or over
the internet, unless you have a very good reason to trust
Donít give any of your personal
information to any web sites that donít use encryption or
other secure methods to protect it.
Use a firewall if you have
high-speed internet connection. This software can be
purchased on-line or from most software retailers.
Donít use PINs or other
passwords that are easy to guess (such as family birth dates
or your petís name).
Examine your credit card, debit
card, and bank statements immediately when you receive them
to determine whether there are any unauthorized
transactions, Report any you find immediately to the
Make a prompt inquiry if bills
or statements are not received in a timely manner this could
mean they are being diverted by an identity thief.
Obtain copies of your credit
report annually from each of the three major credit
reporting agencies (shown under item 2) to make sure theyíre
You may also wish to do the
- Request to not receive any further preapproved offers of
credit by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.
- Ask to be removed from national direct mail lists by
writing to the DMA Mail Preference Service at P. O. Box
9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735- 9008 include your name and
- Ask to not receive telephone solicitations from national
marketers by writing to the DMA Telephone Preference Service
at P. O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014. Include your
name, address, and telephone number.
What if you discover youíre
a victim of fraud?
Contact the Federal Trade
- 1-877-438-4338, or
- Consumer Response Center, F.T.C.
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20580
Contact the following three
major credit reporting agencies to put yourself on Fraud
Alert and request a copy of your credit report:
P. O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374-0250
Or call 1-800-525-6285
P. O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
or Call 1-886-397-3742
P. O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
or Call 1-800-680-7289
Cancel all accounts that have
fraudulent activity or are at risk.
Contact your local law
Contact the U. S. Postal
Service if you know or suspect your mail has been stolen.
Keep detailed records of any
theft of your identity and of your activities to resolve
the theft, including logs of the following:
- The date, time, and amount of any unauthorized activity
on your accounts:
- The date, time duration, and cost of any phone calls,
- The date and cost of any mailings.